Business Licenses

City Hall is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday. No appointment is needed to obtain a business license. Telephone assistance is also available from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday at (323) 563-9527.

Every business operating in the City of South Gate must obtain a business license from South Gate City Hall.

Cash or check payments are the only forms of payment acceptable for purchasing and/or renewing a business license.

Application forms are available at the Business License Division service counter.

License Fees

The city charges a fee per type of business and/or activity. Look up specific license fees (PDF). Please note some businesses may be charged 2 licenses fees. For instance, a beauty salon selling hair products would be required to obtain a service and a retail license.

Gross Receipts Tax

The city also charges a gross receipts tax in the sum of $1 for each $1,000 of gross receipts in excess of $25,000. Max cap license fee of $3,000 (does not include renewal fees or any other applicable fees such as special permit fees or the State CASp Fee). Businesses must report gross receipts when applying for and renewing a business license. Additional fees such as a permit fee, renewal fee and state fee may apply.

Special Business Licenses

Special business licenses are required for businesses including:

  • Carnivals
  • Firework stands
  • Parking lot sales

Please visit our special business licenses page for more information.

Steps to Obtain a New Business License

Come to the Business License Division service counter, at 8650 California Avenue, and obtain a Zoning Clearance Form. At this time you will receive the necessary instructions on obtaining your license.

  1. Go to the service counter at the Community Development Department, also located at City Hall. The Community Development Department will review your Zoning Clearance Form.
  2. Once your Zoning Clearance Form is approved, return to the Business License Division service counter. At this time you will be charged a $37 application deposit fee to process the application (cash or check payments only). This $37 deposit will be deducted from your total license fee once processed.
  3. After we receive the deposit you will be given the full application, along with a list of all required documents to process your license. One of the requirements will be a building and safety inspection which requires a separate fee based on square footage of your business. This inspection fee is separate from your business license fee. To schedule an inspection, you can make an appointment with the Community Development Department. For Steps on Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, click here.
  4. The Business License Division will contact you once the inspection is approved. At this time we will ask you to bring in all the remaining required documents to finish processing your application.

Note: If you open a business prior to receiving a business license the penalty is double the license fees. For more information contact the Business License Division at 323-563-9527.

Additional Information for Businesses

In addition to local requirements there are state licensing and permitting requirements that may be applicable to your business. Please review the following links for more information.

  • - The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has specific information about each program administered, how to register for permits and licenses and how to file and report correctly.
  • - The CalGold website is a comprehensive website that assists business owners in finding the appropriate permit information for their business. It also provides contact information for the various agencies that administer and issue permits, including those for cities, counties, and various other departments. 


Contact Us

Business Licenses Division

8650 California Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280


Phone: 323-563-9527


Except Holidays

Monday - Thursday
7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Staff Contacts

Mary Ramirez

Ariana Clara